Preventive & promotive steps against rapes
The final aim of any literature or articles on the sexual crimes especially the rapes & murders, must be to suggest measures that can bring down the incidence of the crime, provide immediate assistance to the victims and take the perpetrators to the justice. In the present times, we see that there are no signs of the sexual crimes coming down in spite of various measures taken by the govt. There are serious doubts on the Govt and NGOs coming to appreciable help and assistance of the victims in grief. The union govt after Nirbhaya episode in 2012 promised that there will be a 24x7 national helpline for the unfortunate victims of sexual crimes but there is hardly anything on the ground. The tall claims of the govt are clearly falling flat. One such random try to seek help from a women body is mentioned in the opposite text box.
Reporting of the crimes. Due to the stigma involved, make provision for any of the blood relation / guardian / friend / helper to lodge FIR on behalf of the victim in her absentia. FIR may also be made through internet / Telephone / mobile by victim or her well-wishers having verifiable antecedents. There could be a national website for the crime reporting which can immediately redirect the FIR to the concerned police Station / Sub-Div or Div HQs. This information must remain confidential, known only to the authorities responsible to initiate actions. Keep the media off limits. Once the FIR is registered, it should be the responsibility of the State to arrange medical examination on top priority with due sensitivity. All the handling of the victim should be with due diligence.
Immediate assistance to the victims. The assistance required are compassion, medical, humanitarian, Reassurance and social support. Women Police with trained social worker will be useful. Who should render immediate assistance? Search on internet to seek national helpline for rape or sexual crime. There is no national helpline. There is a ‘Nirbhaya’ helpline 181, and a woman help line at phone number 1091. When tried these helplines, the outcome is mentioned in the box opposite. It is a sorry state of affairs for women. There are many helplines mentioned on the internet for domestic violence but did not try those.
Prompt Investigation. If done properly, the rape investigations could be very prompt and accurate. Corrupt police / investigating agencies often fall prey to money, political or muscle powers. They may altogether disregard the evidence or deliberately paint it trivial. Delayed investigation makes the ‘evidence’ to vanish or distorted. The modern advanced forensic investigation technique such as DNA testing, must be made available in all possible cases.
The punishment. The punishment could be death penalty in ‘the rarest of the rare’. The sentence must have flexibility to look into all aspects. The law must be made carefully to block the loopholes. Parents of the rapists too must be held culpable unless there are reasons against it. No culprit should escape punishment but, no innocent be punished. There are bound to be misuse of the strict law. There will be some women who will resort to provision of this law to settle the score with one with enmity. These deliberate victimisations which also include to settle scores with ex-friends, bosses, live-in partners etc, have to be dealt differently. Often a consensual act is later framed as crime.Marital Rape and of those of the sex workers may have to be dealt with differently. Rape in police custody must be treated as rarest of the rare. The present provisions of law in the sexual crimes are by and large adequate only its implementation get diluted or flawed. However, one action on part of the law is highly desirable…to hold the parents of the culprit also accountable unless there are evidence to support their innocence. Parents / guardians of the sons are strong pillars in the character building of the children & adolescents. Hence, they have their culpabilities unless proven otherwise.
Prevention.This is the most important action on part of every one in the family, the societies and the state. It is easier said but extremely difficult to implement. The family and the parents are the most important institution to inculcate the moral values and ethics. The State must aim to strengthen the Moral values at all levels. Sex education, respect and honour for the girls and women must be included in the education at all levels. Periodical classes, shows, demo etc must be made for public and through media. All girls/women must be advised to avoid all such situations where she is likely to get in to rape threats. Parents have big responsibility towards their children. Law & order enforcing agencies must keep a vigil on all such places where the crime is more likely to be committed. It is also the responsibility of the State to ensure that no perpetrators of sexual crimes escape the punishment. It is important that the criminals have fear of the law against sexual crimes.